Yes, you’re not wrong, we’re talking about skateboard wheels and not bearings. While many skateboarders consider dirty and scratchy skateboard wheels are a norm and refuse to give them a proper cleaning, we believe every skater should do it every once in a while as a tribute to your dedicated boards.
However, due to prolonged and demanding uses, most skateboard wheels are usually quite dirty. Not to mention that the scratches on their surfaces make the dirt to be extremely resilient. Hence, it’s not easy to clean your skateboard wheels, it’s also the main reason why a lot of skaters refuse to clean their wheels.
From my experiences, I’ve come up with an effective method for cleaning skateboard wheels. Our guide will introduce you to the cleaning technique step by step, so stay tuned if you’re interested.
Step 1: Preparation
Here are a few items that you’ll need to prepare before you start cleaning your skateboard wheels:
- Skate tool – use this to remove the wheels out of their trucks
- Flat heat screwdriver – they’ll come handy when prying the bearings out
- Steel scrub – use this to deal with difficult stains
- Clean cloth – you should prepare a lot of this since you’ll be needing them
- Baking soda, lemon, vinegar – combining the three and you’ll have an effective cleaning solution
- Blow dryer – for quickly drying your wheels after cleaning
Once these are all prepared, it’s time to clean your wheels
Step 2: Remove the wheels
Start by removing the wheels from your skateboard trucks. This would allow you to clean the wheels thoroughly without being blocked by the deck and trucks. You’ll need to skate tool for this job, carefully place it on top of the protective nuts on each wheel to remove them. Store the removed nuts safely since you’ll need them to reassemble the wheels.
Then with your hands, you need to grab the wheels and pull them out of their axles. Use enough power to force them out but do it carefully to avoid damaging the truck’s axle. If you have time, it’s recommended to clean the axles before putting the wheels back.
Step 3: Remove the bearings
Since you’re not going to clean the bearings, it would be reasonable to remove them before cleaning the wheels. Use the flat head screwdriver that you’ve prepared to gently pry them out. Make sure you do it carefully since recklessly forcing bearings out might damage them. After you’ve done, just place the bearings where you place the nuts.
Step 4: Light cleaning your wheels
Use a clean cloth to start cleaning the surface of the wheels. Make sure you reach every possible corner to get rid of the dirt that has built up inside. You can soak the wheels on the water to soften the dirt, making it easier to clean them. Do this multiple time until you’re satisfied with the result.
Step 5: Thorough cleaning your wheels
To deal with the difficult dirt and stain that have been sticking on your wheels for a long time, we need to use a more critical procedure.
Start by cutting the lemons in halves and squeezing them into a bow. Once you’ve had a decent amount of lemon juice, you’ll need to pour on it a few spoons of baking soda. Together, these two substances would form up an excellent cleaning solution.
Next up, you need to soak your skateboard wheels into the solution to make sure it is applied thoroughly on the surfaces of the wheels. Then wait for about 10 minutes until the effects start to kick in.
At this stage, the resilient dirt and stain should be fairly easy to remove. However, you’ll still need to put your effort into forcing them out. Use a steel scrub to rub on the surfaces of the wheels, especially on dirty areas with lots of scratches. Do it properly to force them out of your wheels. After that, you can wash away the dirt using water.
It’s recommended that you reapply the solution since it’s not easy to get rid of all the dirt within one scrub. Redo the process and wait for another 10 minutes. After that, you’ll need to apply some vinegar on the wheels to make it easier to clean. Then pick up the steel scrub and clean the wheels once again. You should only stop when you decide that your wheels are cleaned and there is no need for further actions.
Rinse your wheels thoroughly with water and you should be surprised with the result. Your wheels have become significantly cleaner compared to when first disassemble them. Then use a clean cloth to wipe them dry. You can use the direct heat from the blow dryer to speed up the process. Once they’ve dried, what’s left to do is just putting things back together.
Step 6: Reassemble your wheels
Before placing the wheels back on your board, it’s recommended that you give the bearings some light cleaning. It’s nothing complex, you just need to wipe them clean with a clean cloth. Not to mention that it would also make your wheels look cleaner.
After that, it’s time to put the bearings back on the wheels. You can use your hands to force them in, but don’t do it recklessly since you might damage the bearings. Make sure both of the bearings are properly installed on two sides of the wheels and you don’t miss anything. Slide the wheels on truck’s axles and secure them with the nuts.
Step 7: A finishing touch and testing the result
Once you’ve finished the cleaning of your wheels, it’s recommended to give the wheels, trucks, and bearings a few sprays of RP7 solution. It would help to protect your wheels from rust and make your whole skateboard looks refreshing.
With that being done, the only thing left to do is taking your board out at the park for a show. Your friends and fellow skaters would probably be impressed by your “new” skateboarding wheels.
And that’s how you should clean your skateboard wheels in just 7 simple steps. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our future posts.